The Fall brings a drop in temperatures, changing leaves and cozy sweaters along with an influx of delicious foods that offer enormous health benefits. Whether visiting your local farmer or grocery store, these are the top 7 Fall foods that are filled to the brim with nutrition and taste.
Pumpkins are a variety of squash that are low in calories and high in nutrients. Pumpkins offer one of the best sources of beta-carotene –an anti-oxidant that converts into vitamin A. Beta carotene has been shown to offer protection against various cancers, heart disease and macular degeneration. Pumpkins are also rich in fiber, potassium and vitamin C. Pumpkins can be enjoyed as part of dessert, soups, salads, preserves and even as a substitute for butter!
Pomegranate fruit is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Rich in vitamin A, C and E, pomegranates contain almost 3x higher anti-oxidants vs. wine and green tea. Pomegranates have also been shown to have cardio-protective benefits. According to recent research drinking as little as two ounces of pomegranate juice (unsweetened) per day can help to lower cholesterol and reduce plaque. Perfect for blood sugar control and weight loss, pomegranate juice and seeds are naturally sweet, delicious and offer the perfect immune system punch.
Ginger has a long history of medicinal health benefits. The active ingredient in ginger is called gingerol and is responsible for many of the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects ginger has. From a digestive perspective, ginger receives two thumbs way up. Ginger has been shown to help the body’s ability to empty food into the stomach more quickly, known as gastric emptying. With an increase in motility, indigestion, nausea and heartburn are less likely. Ginger has been used to boost immune system response and has shown promise with flus or colds. Ginger is available in dried form, in capsule, tea, powdered or as an oil.
Apples are a staple in most of our diets –but do not underestimate this highly popular fruit! Apple are rich in fiber and in a variety of anti-oxidants. There is a specific chemical in apples called quercetin that has been shown to play a role in managing allergies and may also help improve learning and memory. The fiber in apples can also be beneficial in helping to lower cholesterol levels and offers cardio protective effects. Pick your favorite type of apple and slice into morning oatmeal, toss in soups or baked goods.
5) Brussels Sprouts
I used to not be a fan of Brussels Sprouts until I started eating my dad’s crispy Brussels sprouts roasted recipe! Brussels sprouts are packed with nutrients that can benefit your overall health. They are rich in omega 3 which can help reduce inflammation and improve brain health. Brussels sprouts are also rich in fiber that supports digestive function and also offer high amounts of vitamin C which boosts your immune system function.
6) Spaghetti squash
As someone who can only eat a small amount of gluten free grain, spaghetti squash is an absolute go to for me in the winter. Low in calories and carbohydrates and rich in anti-oxidants, vitamin A and C spaghetti squash is easy to make and is delicious when topped with marinara sauce.
Pears are rich in essential anti-oxidants, plant compounds and dietary fiber. The fiber in pears is a soluble fiber called pectin, which nourishes gut bacteria and improves gut health. The fiber in pears also helps to maintain blood sugar and create a sense of fullness. Pears are also low on the glycemic index making them an ideal fruit for weight loss and for diabetes management.
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